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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Explaining a Cancer Diagnosis to Children
Explaining to a child that a parent, relative or close family friend has a serious or life threatening condition can be difficult for adults who may feel overwhelmed themselves. National and regional treatment centers may have resources for families to share with children, who have special needs.

DIR Floortime Model Techniques
One of the most enlightening developments in therapies for children with complex challenges, including autism spectrum disorders, has been the DIR (Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based) model, especially one of its most significant elements, Floortime.

ADHD Medications and Cardiovascular Events
It is now recommended that all children who use ADHD medications schedule an ECG and cardiovascular check up; stirring alarm among parents whose children are more at risk for a cardiac event if they have an undiagnosed heart problem and use stimulant medications like ritalin, adderall, or concerta.

Behavior as a Medical Symptom
Most children show changes in behavior as symptoms of illness, injury or abuse before physical symptoms alert us to call in a doctor. Some children do not have the words to express their discomfort or pain, and many children believe that adults in charge are aware of everything without being told.

Melissa Riggio Made a Difference
Melissa Riggio´s birth on March 25, 1988 inspired the creation of the Special Needs section at Barnes & Noble bookstores in 1991. Her life in twenty years made more of a difference than many lives of 80. A battle with leukemia ended that extraordinary life on April 7, 2008.

State and National Park Disability Passes
Families of children with disabilities may qualify for a free or reduced entrance charges to state and national parks with disability passes available well in advance of a park visit. Check first for information on documentation, identification and other requirements to qualify for entrance passes.

MRSA Antibiotic Resistant Staph Infections
MRSA and ORSA are antibiotic-resistant staph infections that can quickly become life threatening when diagnosis or treatment is delayed. Children with certain health conditions and developmental disabilities may be more susceptible due to skin conditions, injury, accidents or hospitalizations.

Selective Mutism and Shyness
Children who speak at home but don´t feel comfortable talking at school or in other social situations may have a condition known as selective mutism. Researchers have found that children who experience selective mutism have an anxiety disorder that prevents them from speaking in certain situations.

Encouraging Late Talking Children
Finding ways to encourage late-talking children to communicate helps us to build better relationships within the family and community. When a child misses developmental milestones in speech, or does not speak at all, alternative forms of communication help them show us their full potential.

Explaining Down Syndrome to Children
Deciding how to explain Down syndrome to young children may challenge the beliefs and expectations of adults who see more differences than similarities among children with Down syndrome and their mainstream peers.

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